The best sex-positive books you may have missed

Who am I?

I spent nearly two decades as a highly successful corporate attorney. Or, perhaps I should say, a successful attorney with a crude mouth and a love for all things spandex. And my unabashed personality was a differentiator in my career—it allowed me to cut through the corporate nonsense and personally connect with my opposition. But my career imploded when I became the subject of overt sexual harassment in my workplace and my employer worked harder at a coverup than resolution. Rather than sell back my story through litigation, I decided to write openly about sexual empowerment in the face of systemic slut-shaming.

I wrote...

The Porn Star's Daughter

By Kay Stephens,

Book cover of The Porn Star's Daughter

What is my book about?

How do you escape the stigma of your parents' porn empire? For Tali Hunter it's easy... Attend college in New Orleans, a city her parents hate. Check. Overhaul her image to leave all traces of her past behind. Check. Invent a story about a stay-at-home mom and a business-mogul dad where the world of pornography has no place. Check. Check. Double check. 

Tali's plan goes sideways when the first person she meets in the airport recognizes her. James is not only hot—he's also attending the same school—and has the power to expose her secret. The Porn Star’s Daughter is a steamy, laugh-out-loud story about self-acceptance and sexual empowerment.

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The books I picked & why

Corporate Crush

By Moxie Rose,

Book cover of Corporate Crush

Why did I love this book?

I really have no idea how Corporate Crush ever ended up in my hands.

The set up was all wrong for me—the boss and admin trope (power disparity concerns), the female villain defined only by her money-grubbing ways (eyeroll), the romantic relationship controlled by a formal contract (both ew and legally unenforceable). But I quickly discovered that I, as the judgmental reader, was the only one-dimensional villain in this story. 

After I put down my ego, I discovered a hilarious book about strong, smart, potty-mouthed women fighting for power in an ever-antiquated corporate America. It promotes body positivity, shifts traditional sexual power dynamics, and is sexy as hell both inside and outside the bedroom. 

Stars Collide

By Rachel Lacey,

Book cover of Stars Collide

Why did I love this book?

I am a sucker for any and all sapphic romance but throw in two main characters that are individually powerful before they find love...and I’m done. Stars Collide got to me, folks, and not just for its portrayal of strong female leads.

This book sticks with me because of its thoughtful description of an older woman discovering her sexuality. It challenges the idea that all people are able to define their orientation early in life and allows older people to question their sexuality, despite any past romantic relationships (even, gasp, the infallible institution of marriage!). 

By Rachel Lacey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stars Collide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Rachel Lacey, award-winning author of Read Between the Lines, comes a sexy slow-burn romance about two dynamic divas who collide on the world’s biggest stage.

Eden Sands has been a star for twenty years, but it’s lonely at the top. Her mediocre marriage just ended, and her inner circle is smaller than ever. The stage is the only place she’s ever felt like she truly belonged, and yet, her last album flopped, and her upcoming tour hasn’t sold out. Eden’s desperate for her star to shine bright again, but when her team suggests a collaboration with an up-and-coming young…

Honey and Spice

By Bolu Babalola,

Book cover of Honey and Spice

Why did I love this book?

In fairness, you may not have missed this book. However, I will die on my hill arguing it has not yet received the accolades it deserves. 
Among many other topics, Honey & Spice brilliantly explores modern romance through the eyes of college students—a topic very near and dear to my own sappy, romance-author heart. It questions sexual dynamics from both male and female perspectives, with emphasis on unpacking underlying gender stereotypes and evolving the concept of sexual consent.

With its unflinching descriptions of slut-shaming and its gratifying treatment of those that dare use women’s sexuality against them, Honey & Spice should be dominating any romance reader’s TBR list.

By Bolu Babalola,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Honey and Spice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Hilarious, hot and heartfelt' MEG CABOT
'Gorgeously written and heart-meltingly romantic' BETH O'LEARY
'Romantic, sexy, fun, delicious and important' MARIAN KEYES

Sisters, beware the 'Wasteman of Whitewell' . . .

As host of radio show Brown Sugar, Kiki Banjo's mission is to protect her listeners from heartbreak. Which puts Whitewell College's newest student, handsome 'player' Malakai Korede, at the top of her hitlist.

But when Kiki's dream summer internship in New York depends on finding a fresh angle for her radio show, she must make an unlikely bargain with Malakai…

Book cover of A Witch's Guide to Fake Dating a Demon

Why did I love this book?

At the risk of being ostracized by the romance community, I will admit here that I am not much of a paranormal romance reader.

In my world, vampires are too pretentious, werewolves are too moody, and bigfoot is far too introverted. But as a socially awkward girl born somewhere between Salem and Provincetown, I was raised to crush hard on powerful witches. And thank God for it because my deep-seated witch obsession led me to this gem.

A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating is a sexy romance written under the shocking assumption that women enjoy sex for reasons unrelated to either reproduction or social obligation. It promotes self-discovery as critical to entering a healthy sexual relationship and deconstructs the domineering hero trope so beloved in romance novels of yore.

By Sarah Hawley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Witch's Guide to Fake Dating a Demon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mariel Spark knows not to trust a demon, especially one that wants her soul, but what’s a witch to do when he won’t leave her side—and she kind of doesn’t want him to?

Mariel Spark is prophesied to be the most powerful witch seen in centuries of the famed Spark family, but to the displeasure of her mother, she prefers baking to brewing potions and gardening to casting hexes. When a spell to summon flour goes very wrong, Mariel finds herself staring down a demon—one she inadvertently summoned for a soul bargain.

Ozroth the Ruthless is a legend among demons.…

Book cover of Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk

Why did I love this book?

I agree, a non-fiction recommendation is a bit of a curve ball from a romance author! But Sex Workers Unite is well worth the mention because it has been such an overwhelming inspiration for my own writing.

This book is a gut-wrenching description of both the dehumanization of sex workers and the social ills we all suffer as a result. It is not just a call for social justice—it is a warning message for those willing to turn a blind eye to the marginalization of a disenfranchised group.

By Melinda Chateauvert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sex Workers Unite as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges our ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom
Documenting five decades of sex-worker activism, Sex Workers Unite is a fresh history that places prostitutes, hustlers, escorts, call girls, strippers, and porn stars in the center of America’s major civil rights struggles. Although their presence has largely been ignored and obscured, in this provocative history Melinda Chateauvert recasts sex workers as savvy political organizers—not as helpless victims in need of…

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